This is a reposting of a previous blog post, http://lindenhurst.patch.com/blog_posts/urgent-steps-in-a-water-damage-emergency, about what to do in a water emergency, just in time for Hurricane Sandy:
Water Damage Tips
Urgent steps in a water damage emergency
Prevent Electrocution! Shut off power to all flooded areas.
Stop the Water! find and shut off the water source of the flood! CALL FOR HELP NOW! .
Every moment you wait the damage spreads. Protect Furnishings! While help is on the way get them out of the water.Now that you've called and help is on the way, here are some more do's and don'ts...
Do remove as much water as possible by mopping or blotting with large bath towels (Be sure not to leave colored towels on the carpet as colors can bleed)
Do wipe furniture down to remove excess moisture.
Do prop up wet furniture cushions for even drying.
Do lift drapes off the floor, loop through coat hanger and hang from curtain rod.
Do remove wet area rugs, furnishings and anything else on the flooring in the effected area.
Do move valuable pictures, paintings and art objects to a safe dry place.
Do open closet doors and dresser drawers and anything else that can be opened to allow air to circulate.
Do stay out of rooms where the ceiling is sagging.
Don't use your household vacuum to remove water.
Don't use electrical appliances while standing in wet area.
Don't wait to call for help; the longer you wait the more damage will occur.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What should be my first concern?
A: Safety is of primary importance. Water near electric outlets and appliances pose a serious risk of shock. Beyond that the source of the problem needs to be corrected before full restoration can begin.
Q: It's 2:00 AM. Can this wait until morning?
A: If the water source is stopped, the clean-up can generally begin in the morning. If a broken pipe is to blame, the water to the house may need to be shut off until a plumber can fix it.
Q: How long will it take?
A: The initial extraction of standing water generally takes only a few hours; however to completely dry the structure may take 3-5 days. Any damage to walls, floors and ceilings will be repaired after the home is dry. The entire process often takes less than 10 days.
Q: Should I move my furniture out of the affected rooms?
A: Yes, this will prevent them from absorbing additional moisture or staining of carpet and will be required to dry the floor completely.
Q: Will my carpet cleaner or shop-vac be sufficient?
A: Probably not. Water causes serious damage to walls, floors and ceilings which require not only water extraction from the carpet but also restoring the humidity level of your home. Professionals use industrial machines capable of extracting as much water as possible from your flooded carpet.
Further de-humidifiers and turbo-air movers are required to dry walls, floors and ceilings adequately to control mold, mildew and bacteria growth. It is those spaces within walls and ceilings that are most critical, the places you can't see.
Water Damage Tips: What to Look for when you’re the Victim of Water Damage.
Initial scoping to determine how extensive the water damage is. The water damage will be found in 3 dimensions. Water always seeks equilibrium with its environment and wet always goes to dry, if it can.
Just finding the extent of water damage on the floor isn't enough. The water damage needs to be mapped to determine how far up the walls it has wicked, and how far down into the substrate the water damage has gone, including possibly entering the crawlspace in a conventional foundation.
This can't be done by touch. Very specialized water damage inspection tools and meters will be required, and not every water damage professional has them. A thorough understanding of water damage demands on the contractor be familiar with the "science of drying" also called psychrometry.
Ask your water damage contractor what the dry standard is of each structural component suffering potential water damage. With proper water damage inspection tools and water damage experience, he or she should be able to tell you on a scale of 100 points the moisture content of the water damaged materials. If he or she can't, call a different water damage restoration professional.
Make sure your water damage restoration contractor draws a "moisture map" of the affected areas showing the full extent of the water damage migration, and that he or she updates the map regularly to show the progress of the water damage/structural drying project.
A professional water damage restoration contractor should select the structural drying equipment in a scientific method based on materials, size of the water damage area, and the class and category of the water damage. At the very least he or she should be certified in applied structural drying and water damage restoration.
Any extraction of standing water or of carpet and padding involved in a water damage project should be done with the very best water extraction tools. Preferably sub-surface water extraction tools.
If wall to wall carpet is not to be replaced, which is rarely needed with new structural drying technologies, the last thing a trained specialist in structural drying and water damage restoration will do is set air movement under the carpet to "float" it.
There are far too many things to learn as a property owner, whether it's your home or business, to be educated in applied structural drying and water damage restoration via a web-site. So you best bet is to contact a professional Cleaning and Restoration Service, and let them handle the water damage restoration project.
They’ll take care of everything for you, and you can be confident that you've hired the very best at water damage restoration with experience of drying out homes and businesses, and your insurance company will know they have a contractor who is skilled and ethical, something that's getting harder and harder to find.
If your home or business is ever the victim of a flood or water damage you need a professional restorer with extensive training and experience drying a wide range of different structural materials and contents.
www.vangocleaning.com is a professional restoration company with years of experience at structural drying and water damage restoration and mitigation.
As true professionals, they guarantee not to provide less service than necessary to save the insurance company money.
They also guarantee not to provide more service than necessary to benefit the insured. Sometimes that can be a fine line to walk, but they refuse to do anything that will jeopardize their sterling reputation, or quality of service they provide.
I hope that this consumer awareness guide has been of service to you.
for more info or assistance you can always call toll free 1-855-55-VANGO
(1-855-558-2640) or visit www.vangocleaning.com and ask for Robert Deacon